My 2nd CD review this week includes package artwork that was handsomely provided by a young artist. Atlanta, Georgia-based artist Melody Duncan generously gave this artist an opportunity to get creative feet wet professionally. The line-art image, while done by an amateur show’s promise on this 9-cut effort. The music from Ms. Duncan, a violinist/multi-instrumentalist/producer born & raised in Mobile, AL is filled with a generous amount of good music.
Melody’s Wolf Song (Drops March 12-Independent) has only 1 misfire & 1 wasteful track. That’s a good track record.
The 38-minute CD starts with an acutely attractive gravelly-voiced Duncan on (“Prelude/Wolf Song”) & fits comfortably within the Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Tyler, Kim Carnes & Melanie Safka school of sincerity & sensitivity.
Ms. Duncan will surprise purists with her tap into the raw tonality & phrasing as well, of the late blues-folk singer Karen Dalton.
The Dalton style is explored further on the almost lullaby-like cut 7. The lovely “Reunion” — done vividly, with a pinch of blues & lots of traditional soulful folk. No stale cliches, no silliness. The LP in a word is music that’s beautiful — like a wildflower pushing through the dirt at the foot of a worn-out wooden post on the side of a humid highway.
Cut 5 “Lonely,” smooths Melody’s vocal & adds a Spaghetti western whistle. “Campfire,” has the vocalese of legendary singer Melanie Safka (“Lay Down Candles in the Rain,” “Brand New Key,” “Lover’s Cross,” Maybe Not for a Lifetime”). Yeah, Ms. Duncan is in that kind of company.
Out of 9 listed songs, I found 5 outstanding. The other 4 — not far behind.
Set aside her 2 hidden extras that add up to zero – Ms. Duncan has 9 brilliant tunes to be proud of. Melody sings with enthusiasm, vigor & a style that is not contemporary as much as artistic in nature. Everything is well-arranged, the vocalizing shimmers & her lyrics are sensitive, precise & exude an expansive spirit. The melodies assuredly suit the words perfectly.
For a singer-songwriter on her own – Melody Duncan is an impressive lady. I may even add this CD to a desert island disc box.
The Melody Duncan CD reviewed was a promo copy & not the final artwork. All song titles will appear on the final commercially printed CD.
Available at her website: https://www.melodyduncanmusic.com/